Yes, that's sushi. It was warmly received by roughly 67% of the book club members. And that is Neil Bartlett, giving his "V For I-Ate-Sushi-And-Lived-To-Talk-About-It" sign. Next to Neil is his son Zeke, of Mental Llama blog fame, wearing his infamous Weak On Sanctification teeshirt.
We're doing Gustav Wingren's Luther On Vocation, which isn't as easy as it looks whilst wolfing down raw prawn with hot mustard.. The box in front of Neil in the photo once housed a bottle of wheat whiskey, which was received warmly by roughly 80% of the book club members. And all of this raw fish, coconut juice, tamari, and whiskey was provided by our good friend Mike, who will one day get his own very special posting on this very blog.
But what of that? The book topic is wonderfully interesting. Discussing it in any kind of structured format is a bit more difficult. Given the amount of time we have committed to the project, we're reduced to focusing on those passages that I've bothered to underline. Yes, it is a bit haphazard, but we have managed to mine some nice nuggets from the book. And Scott has discovered that, by and large, he underlines many of the same passages I do. Which must mean something.
Some choice quotes by Wingren from our discussion last evening:
"Only as the old man, still under the law, does the Christian ask about the righteousness of his works. Faith and the new man know only one righteousness: the forgiveness of sins..." P. 45
"There is nothing more delightful and lovable on earth than one's neighbor [Well, we joked about that a bit, to be honest...]. Love does not thnk about doing works, it finds joy in people; and when something good is done for others, that does not appear to love as works but simply as gifts which flow naturally from love. Love never does something because it has to [which engendered a discussion of "guilt" and those gifts which keep on giving...]. It is permitted to act. And earth 'with its trees and grass' is the site of man's vocation. He who has the Holy Spirit knows it by the fact, among others, that in faith and gladness he fulfills his vocation. He rejoices in his labor." P. 43-44.
"To be sure, the law seeks to bring love under its control and prescribe for it rules and suitable ways of dealing with the neighbor, which befit a Christian. The law would like to 'make of love a servant girl' [Whazzat mean? asked Neil] instead of the queen which it really is. But what chance does the law have? Its business is to compel (grudging) attention to one's neighbor..." P. 47.
Next up for the intrepid No Inklings: Wingren's take on Luther's Cross And Desperation. Stay tuned!